Book review: Blaine Harden – King of Spies

Blaine Harden: King of Spies – The dark reign of America’s spymaster in Korea Mantle, 2018, 272 pp The character of the maverick cop, or even maverick spy, delivering outstanding results through unorthodox means and despite a disregard for hierarchy, is a familiar one in crime and spy fiction. Blaine Harden, who worked with Shin […]

November literature night: Mary Lynn Bracht’s White Chrysanthemum

A break from tradition this month. November’s book for discussion is a novel written in English, rather than one translated from the Korean. We’ll be there because we rather liked the book. White Chrysanthemum: A discussion with author Mary Lynn Bracht Wednesday 28 November, 19.00-21.00 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking Essential. […]

RIP Bill Speakman VC

The funeral was held this week for Bill Speakman, the so-called Beer Bottle VC. The ceremony was held on 19 July in the Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, where Speakman was a pensioner. He died peacefully at the Hospital on 20 June 2018, aged 90, surrounded by members of his family. Obituaries can be […]

Film review: Yu Hyun-mok’s Descendants of Cain

I had looked forward to the first movie in the KCC’s Korean Novels on Screen series – Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of Yi Kwang-su’s The Soil – and had been disappointed. Conversely, not being a particular fan of Yu Hyun-mok’s depressing movies, I was regarding the second in the series – his adaptation of Hwang Sun-won’s 1954 […]

SOAS conference: Colonialism and its Reverberations

A good half-day conference coming at the beginning of February. Check the event’s Facebook page or the SOAS website for updates. Colonialism and its Reverberations: ‘Comfort Women’ and Historical Revisionism in Korea and Japan Professor Yonson Ahn (University of Frankfurt), Professor Vladimir Tikhonov (University of Oslo), Professor Chong Yeonghwan (Meiji Gakuin University) 3 February 2018, […]

Exhibition news: Memories of Korea, at Han Collection from 6 January

An interesting exhibition to start the New Year: Memories of Korea – Cross-vision from East and West 6th – 28th January 2017 Han Collection | 30 Museum Street | London WC1A 1LH | www.hancollection.co.uk A collection of woodblock prints from both eastern and western artists, using traditional Japanese woodblock printing techniques along with a mix […]

Korean War not quite forgotten in Canary Wharf art trail

As we approach Remembrance Sunday, the walkways and open spaces of Canary Wharf have been adorned with works by artist Mark Humphrey in what is described as the UK’s first Remembrance Art Trail, in association with the Royal British Legion and constructed with the help of the Corps of Royal Engineers, consists of seven art […]

New Paju footbridge honours Glorious Glosters

I am grateful to the Association for the Study of Songun Politics UK for alerting me to the recent opening of a new bridge – the “Gloucester Heroes Bridge” – commemorating the role of British forces (and it was not just the Glosters, though they are the regiment who feature most prominently in the accounts) […]

Book review: Hwang Sun-won — Lost Souls

Hwang Sun-won: Lost Souls Translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Columbia University Press 2010, 354pp Having quite enjoyed two of Hwang Sun-won’s fuller-length stories – Trees on a Slope and Descendants of Cain – though without necessarily being enamoured of the characters of the stories they inhabited, I was looking forward to tackling Lost Souls, […]

Korea Post honours the Glosters

Lt Col James Power Carne of the Gloucestershire Regiment appears on a new Korean postage stamp, part of a set of ten issued to mark the 65th anniversary of the start of the war. The BBC regional website for Gloucestershire has the full story.

Press preview: Two Korean War documentaries

For a while now Theatre for All have been working with British Korean War veterans, gathering their memories. Some of the fruits of their labours will be revealed this Thursday, the 65th anniversary of the start of the war, in a press preview in Kingston. You can register for the screenings at Eventbrite. Premiere screenings: […]